Crystal Palace keen on ex-Newcastle flop

Marseille winger Florian Thauvin

Crystal Palace are eyeing a move for Marseille winger Florian Thauvin this summer, as reported by The Sun.

What is the latest transfer news involving Thauvin?

Palace have been linked with Watford's Ismaila Sarr, but appear unlikely to land the forward. They have now identified Thauvin as an alternative target.

The 28-year-old, who had a previous spell in the Premier League at Newcastle, has reportedly attracted the attention of Serie A side AC Milan as well.

How much is Thauvin worth and when does his contract expire?

Thauvin's contract is set to expire in the summer, meaning that he will become a free agent at this point. 

This could make him a more realistic signing for the Eagles than Sarr, who would likely cost Palace at least £29m in the upcoming transfer window, a figure which could rise if Watford get promoted.

What are Thauvin's stats this season?

Thauvin has registered 15 goal involvements in 31 Ligue 1 appearances this term - four more than Wilfried Zaha has managed in the Premier League. It has been an impressive comeback for the wide man, who missed most of last season through injury.

He has made 46 key passes in the French top-flight - putting him 16 clear of Palace's best performer in this category, Eberechi Eze (30).

The 10-cap international is also a talented dribbler. He has completed 50 successful dribbles, which would put him second in the Palace rankings, behind only Eze (54).

What has Maldini said about Thauvin?

AC Milan technical director Paolo Maldini confirmed in November that the Italian giants were tracking Thauvin, and outlined the reasoning behind their interest.

He told Telefoot via Football Transfers: “He will be at the end of his contract, so it is an interesting option from an economic point of view.

“He is a high level player. He does not have the same profile as our rookies in the last two seasons, because of his age (27 years old and soon 28 on January 26th).

“But we know that the good formula of our team is to have a mixture of young players and experienced players. It is obviously a profile that we follow."

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Is Thauvin the right signing for Palace?

Palace have 11 players out of contract in the summer, and it appears likely that a number of those players won't be offered new deals. Therefore, their wage bill should be cut significantly during this period.

With this in mind, Thauvin could be the perfect signing for them. Having offloaded several players, the club would seemingly be in a good position to pay Thauvin's wages, whilst they would not have to fork out a penny in terms of a transfer fee.

The creative midfielder would bring Champions League experience to the table, having made six appearances this season, something which is currently lacking within the Palace squad, and has proven his quality in France in recent years. Indeed, he recorded at least 24 goal contributions in three consecutive seasons between 2016/17 and 2018/19. 

The team need a little more star quality going forwards, so that they are not overly-reliant on the likes of Zaha and Eze. Thauvin could bring the desired touch of class to Selhurst Park that the club are looking for.

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